What is Joyful Movement?

Joyful movement literally is what it sounds like – it describes any movement you enjoy. It centers pleasure and what makes you feel good and happy when moving your body. It emphasizes personal choices and varies depending on personal preference. Tips for Moving More Joyfully

  • Find ways to move that make you happy and bring you joy. This can include things like dancing in your room or walking or yoga. Really anything.
  • Accept that you don’t have to force yourself to enjoy types of movement that may be more appealing to others. We are not all meant to move the same way or enjoy the same types of physical activities, and that is ok!
  • You don't need to feel exhausted and tired for something to “count” as physical activity.
  • Listen to your body to determine the pace, duration, and intensity of your activities. Take rest when you need to.
  • Joyful movement doesn't have a time requirement, you do it for as long as you enjoy it. Some enjoy setting goals around time or other benchmarks to track progress, but this is optional.
  • Try to prioritize mental and physical health instead of focusing on the number on the scale.

Examples of Joyful Movement

  • Dancing to your favorite song
  • Walking your dog
  • Yoga or gentle stretching
  • Hiking
  • Group fitness
  • Rock climbing
  • Running
  • Any other movement you enjoy!

Do you have a challenging relationship with movement?

Look at the following chart below and see which side you tend to fall on based on your current habits/experiences around movement.

Signs you may have a challenging relationship with exercise/movement Signs you might be engaging in joyful movement
Un-joyful: Moving in a way that you don't find fun or that you hate Joyful: Moving in a way that brings you joy and makes you feel good.
Excessive: Moving for too long, at too high of intensity and/or too often Moderate: Moving for as long as your body wants to move and as long as feels good
Not listening to your body: Pushing yourself harder than is safe and continuing to exercise despite needing rest or when you are experiencing pain Listening to your body: Taking rest days or cutting back on activity when you need to.
Rigid Rules: Rigid rules about how long you must workout, for how often and what you are going to do Flexible: Accepting that there are different ways to move your body and you don't have to push yourself too hard
Forced: feeling like you have to exercise even when your body doesn't want to Desire: Moving when you want to and how you want to
Externally motivated: Desire to change your physical appearance, burn a certain amount of calories, and/or to punish yourself as a primary motivator for exercise Because you love to move! Moving because it feels good, and you love doing something for yourself

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